Francis E. Dorsey
Fran Dorsey was born in Abington, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the town of Willow Grove not far from where he was born. As a child, he also lived in Williamstown, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His educational pursuits have also allowed him to live in Baltimore, Maryland; Buffalo, New York and Kent, Ohio. He likes for people to know that he has had the best of all living situations, having lived in the city, the country, and the suburbs. He has also attended schools in all three environments and has had the opportunity to attend predominantly white and predominantly black educational institutions from elementary school through high school and college. He has used these experiences to allow him to better understand the world in which we live.
He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pan-African Studies (1981); former director of the Center of Pan-African Culture from 1987-1999 and co-founder and artistic director of the African Community Theatre from 1979-1999 & 2003 to the present, all at Kent State University. Dr. Dorsey is the past President of the national Association for Black Culture Centers and is the Regional Director for Alpha Kappa Mu National Honor Society. He is also an actor and had a minor role in the movie “Antwone Fisher” with Denzel Washington in 2002 and a major role in the television production of “Such Is Life” in 2006”
He received an Associate in Arts Degree in Education from Gloucester County College in Sewell, New Jersey in 1971; earned his B.A. degree in Speech Communication and Theatre Arts from Morgan State University, an historical Black university in Baltimore, Maryland in 1974; completed his M.A. degree in 1977 in Communication at the State University of New York at Buffalo, in Buffalo New York, where he studied under the direction of Dr. Molefi Asante; and has an earned Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Communication from Kent State University.
In 1974, he began his teaching career as an instructor in the Department of Speech Communication and Theatre Arts at Morgan State University. In 1979, he began working with Dr. Edward Crosby in the Department of Pan-African Studies as a graduate assistant and with him created the African Community Theatre. In 1981, he began teaching full-time in the Department of Pan-African Studies.
Although Dr. Dorsey’s education has been in the area of communication, he learned that an education was more important than a job. With this attitude toward education he learned to adjust and adapt his educational ideals and demands toward promoting and developing the socio-cultural, educational and economic needs of himself, his family, his students and most importantly the African American Community toward a holistic approach toward the entire educational process. To him, this process can only be manipulated from an Afrocentric paradigm.
Dr. Dorsey is primarily known for his work in the Theatre. However, he is an avid supporter of the need for community growth and development. He believes that the survival of the African-World Community lies in a better understanding of our past in order for us to comprehend our present and future direction. He believes in an African-Centered approach to who and what we are as a people.
Dr. Dorsey is married to Clevelander, Dr. Marlene R. Dorsey, former Dean of Continuing Studies at Kent State University. The Dorsey’s have three sons, Jonathan from Virginia and twin sons Jelani Osei and Jabari Okon who graduated from Kent State University in 2007. The Dorsey’s have four grandchildren. The Dorsey’s reside in Kent, Ohio.